Driving Without Due Care and Attention

Driving without due care or attention
Legally reviewed by: Kevin Waddingham

Cartwright King’s specialist Driving Offence Solicitors can work with you to build a strong case against driving without due care and attention aka. careless driving allegations. Benefit from the experience of our meticulous Road Traffic team, who will scrutinise the evidence in detail to establish the facts that will help clear you of wrongdoing.

For fast, efficient and effective legal advice for motoring offences, get in touch with Cartwright King, now.


What Is Driving Without Due Care and Attention?

The Road Traffic Act 1988 states that it is an offence to be guilty of ‘driving a mechanically propelled vehicle on a road or other public place without due care and attention’. What does it mean exactly? When taking into account the ‘attention’ definition, it simply means driving while not focusing your mind on it.

Careless driving is defined as driving that:

  • Falls below the standard expected of a competent driver, or
  • That does not show reasonable consideration for other people and their safety using the road/pathways.

Not every accident involves driving without due care and attention. Insurance companies will usually deal with the financial consequences of an accident and the expenses that arise from them.

If the police are involved, they will be looking to see if the criminal law has been broken. If they think it has, they will start criminal proceedings.


What Is Classed as Driving Without Due Care and Attention?

There are many actions that are considered driving without due care and attention. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Eating while driving
  • Smoking while driving
  • Changing a CD
  • ‘Tailgating’ another vehicle
  • Driving through a red traffic light
  • Undertaking
  • Driving into a pedestrian

It is worth mentioning that driving without care and attention does not cover drunk driving, drug driving, speeding, or driving while using a mobile device (e.g. a phone), as all those are covered by different codes.

What Happens If You Are Caught Driving Without Due Care and Attention?

If you are caught driving without due care and attention, you will either receive a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) with the details of the offence you have committed, or you will receive a summons (postal requisition) with the time and date you need to attend court. At this stage, it is important that you contact our team of solicitors so that we can provide you with the support you need.

How Cartwright King Can Help You

Cartwright King takes a non-judgemental approach to every case. We listen, we understand, and we genuinely care about protecting your interests. We offer honest, reliable legal advice to ensure that the best possible action is taken to help clear your name. We can help with:

● Reviewing all the circumstances of your case
● Building a strong defence by gathering evidence and presenting your case
● Representation in Court
● Legal advice throughout your case

Benefit From a Free, Initial Telephone Conversation

If you have been charged with careless driving and you face getting points on your licence and/or disqualification, you can benefit from a free, initial telephone call with a specialist Cartwright King Motoring Offence Lawyer, during which they will present you your options.

There’s no substitute for speaking to one of our legal professionals to get the right advice and start preparing your defence.

For immediate action, contact us today for your free* initial discussion.

The discussion is completely informal and confidential and is an opportunity for us to:

● Get to know you
● Understand your situation
● Agree how you want to proceed

*Please be aware that this is a ‘get to know you’ call, and no advice will be given.

Why Choose Cartwright King For Careless Driving Defence?

If you face charges for careless driving, having an experienced Motoring Offence Lawyer representing you is often the difference when it comes to avoiding points on your licence or a driving ban.

Working with a specialist Cartwright King solicitor gives you the assurance of having access to legal counsel who will advise you at every stage of your case. We know that careless driving charges can be damaging to your daily life and potentially affect your employment.

That’s why we will do everything we can to clear you of wrongdoing or minimise any action against you.

We’re committed to defending your legal rights and protecting your driving licence, ensuring that you’re treated fairly throughout your case.

We’re a trusted, resourceful Legal 500 top tier law firm with specialist solicitors that are calm under pressure, giving you defence counsel that you can count on.

We're here for you.

Frequently asked questions.

What Is the Difference Between Driving Without Due Care and Attention and Inconsiderate Driving?

According to section 3 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, there are two ways in which you can commit a driving without care offence. You can either be convicted of driving without due care or inconsiderate driving – the penalties are the same in both cases.

When it comes to driving without care conviction, the prosecution has to prove that the standard of driving fell below that of a competent driver. For an inconsiderate driving conviction, the prosecution has to present a reasonable doubt that a competent driver would not drive as the offender did and that the driving in question inconvenienced other drivers.

An example of inconsiderate driving could be not dipping your lights for the oncoming traffic.

What penalty could I face if found guilty of Driving Without due Care and Attention?

The Court can impose  3 – 9 penalty points on your licence or disqualify you from driving. If you have previous points on your licence and you reach 12 or more, a mandatory driving ban applies under ‘totting up‘ provisions. You could also be issued with an unlimited fine.

Your penalty is likely to be more severe if your actions include:

  • Excessive speed
  • Allowing yourself to be distracted by doing something else, e.g. eating or drinking
  • Trying to look after passengers in the car
  • Carrying an unsafe load
  • Causing an accident that results in injury
  • Causing damage to another vehicle or property
  • Careless driving  in a high risk area, e.g. near a school, crowds of people or on a particularly busy road
  • Driving while tired or physically unwell
  • Driving contrary to the advice given by a medical professional (this also includes written advice from a drug manufacturer, stating that one should not drive after taking medicine)

In case of a more serious offence (e.g. when your driving has caused an accident or endangered the lives and safety of others), you will be brought to court automatically. The highest possible penalty in this situation is nine points on your driver’s license and a £5000 fine. You might also be prohibited from driving altogether (also known as disqualification) – the decision for how long is in the hands of the judge and will be dependent on how serious the offence was.

Additionally, the consequences could be slightly more serious if two years haven’t passed since you passed your driving test. Within this period, 6 points are enough for you to get banned from driving, plus you will be required to take your theoretical and practical driving test again.

Keep in mind that it doesn’t mean that the penalty is the only possible outcome of a court summon. Community service, a driving ban or a custodial sentence are also possible, depending on the severity of the offence, as well as whether you are facing any other charges at the same time.

I've Been Issued With a Fixed Penalty. Do I Have To Accept It?

The police have the right to issue a fixed-penalty notice (FPN), which usually equals three points on your license and a £100 fine. Sometimes, the offender might be offered to take a driver education course instead.

While the police can now issue a fixed penalty for careless driving offences, you don’t have to accept it. You can challenge a fixed penalty notice in Court if you believe that you’re innocent of the careless driving accusations against you – however, you should keep in mind that if the judge’s decision won’t be in your favour, you might end up paying a sum a lot higher than the initial fine.

I've Been Charged With Careless Driving. What Should You Do?

If you have been charged, you will be prosecuted at the Magistrates’ Court. If the police did not attend the scene, and there was no accident, you should receive a notice of intended prosecution within 14 days. Otherwise you will receive a court summons.

Get in touch with Cartwright King immediately if you have been charged. We will help you prepare and present your defence to give you the best possible chance of overturning the charges against you.

In Court, the prosecution will have to prove that your driving fell below the expected standard of a competent driver beyond all reasonable doubt. Throughout Court proceedings Cartwright King will be there to represent you with professional advice.

What Happens After the Verdict?

If you’re found guilty of driving carelessly, the points you get for driving carelessly stay on your license for four years, which is a standard amount of time on the statute books when it comes to driving offences.

Your insurer needs to be informed about you being charged with an offence. While your premium might be affected by it, if an insurer finds out that you have been penalised with points on your driving license, and you haven’t told them about it, the insurance company can withdraw cover or block you from taking out the insurance, affecting your consumer credit rating.

Will I lose my licence?

Yes, in some circumstances, the court could impose a ban or 3-9 penalty points. We understand how important your licence is which is why we can fight to save it on your behalf.

Losing your licence can have a massive impact on your job and family life. We’re here to take the worry off your hands, contact us today for advice and representation.

I am innocent, what should I do?

If you believe you are not guilty, then we can help defend you in court. The prosecution must prove beyond all reasonable doubt that you are guilty of the offence. Our motoring lawyers have a vast amount of experience in successfully defending individuals accused of motoring offences in court. Being found guilty can have a huge impact on your life.

What can be considered mitigating circumstances?

We can take a look at all the facts in your case to see if there may be any other issues at play. For example, there may have been a mechanical fault with the car during the incident. Although this may not always amount to defence, the court may take this into consideration. Such circumstances will need to be looked into by a motoring solicitor.

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